Why does your attorney ask you for so many financial documents at the beginning of your case? Do you need to provide those documents, and do you have to do it now?
The only answer is “yes”. It may be stressful now, but your attorney is actually doing you a favor.
The stress of divorce is caused in part, by trying to get everyone to do what they are supposed to do. Your attorney knows that things can get easier once there are temporary court orders in place. Temporary orders give both parties an enforceable plan for what is expected of them while the divorce is in process. But you have to make a request from the court by filing a motion. It doesn’t happen automatically.
Details are important. Facts are important. The court cannot grant orders based on estimates of your costs or approximate guesses. The judge wants to know the basis of your requests and if they are reasonable and realistic. In King County, Local Family Law Rule 10(a)(1)(A-C) states that a financial declaration needs to be filed and served on all parties when payment of a child’s expenses, child support, spousal maintenance, payment of debt, attorney or expert fees, or any other financial matter are involved in any motion, trial, or settlement conference. The rule then lists what documents need to be filed with the financial declaration.
What Financial Documents Should You Provide to Your Attorney?
Those documents include:
- Paystubs for the last 6 months, or other documents that show all income received.
- Complete personal tax returns for at least the previous 2 years
- Business records
- Bank statements
Do those documents sound familiar? Your attorney is requesting the same documents required by the court to support your claims or rebuttals.
Your attorney may also request these documents even if you do not have a case in King County or are not immediately asking for temporary orders. Many counties have similar rules about submitting financial declarations for the above situations, and they require similar documentation for support. These documents are also very useful in figuring out your financial situation. Your attorney needs to know details about your finances and many other aspects of your life to draft a settlement offer that protects your interests. An experienced attorney knows that the sooner they receive your documents and understand your situation, the sooner you can get answers and solutions.
How ZafiroLaw Can Help
If you are considering beginning divorce proceedings or have been served, it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney like Katrina S. Zafiro can help you navigate the details involved in the divorce process and advise you on strategy and timing. Contact the office today to set up your consultation appointment.